Huawei Honor V9 Play now official
Now that Huawei has decided to leave the low-end sector of the smartphone market, it looks like the Honor family gets to cover the entire mid-range spectrum, sometimes going into the sub-US$100 area as well. However, it is very likely that the low-end Honor handsets will only be available in China.
The new Honor V9 Play is an affordable Android smartphone that features a metal unibody design with a fast fingerprint reader on the back (it is supposed to unlock the device in just 0.4 seconds). Its 5.2-inch IPS display has a low resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels, but it helps the 3,000 mAh battery to last for up to 15 days in standby.
This handset is powered by the octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor with Mali-T860 MP2 graphics and comes with two memory options - 3 GB or 4 GB RAM. Both variants feature 32 GB internal storage and microSD support up to 128 GB.
Mobile photography lovers might want to skip the Honor V9 Play since there is nothing special about its cameras, except that the main image shooter comes with PDAF. The front shooter has 8 MP and f/2.2 aperture, while the main camera features a 13 MP sensor with 1.12-micron large pixels, a 5P lens with f/2.0 aperture, LED flash, 1080p video recording capabilities, and uses PDAF. Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) is a technnology that splits the image into two copies and adjusts the lens elements until the two images merge. Most mobile cameras use contrast detection auto focus, a method that is slower than PDAF.
The usual connectivity features for this price range are present: 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, GPS with GLONASS support, micro USB 2.0, the traditional 3.5 mm audio jack. Sadly, this phone does not feature a USB Type-C connector, and it takes about 3 hours to fully charge its battery via micro USB 2.0.
The Huawei Honor V9 Play runs Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1 on top and comes in red, blue, black, gold, and rose gold finish. The 3 GB RAM variant has a price tag of around US$152, and the 4 GB model can be acquired for the equivalent of US$185. Both will hit the Chinese market next week and, unfortunately, we have no information about their international launch yet.
Earlier this week, Huawei also introduced the cheaper Honor 6 Play. This 5-inch handset looks like the low-end Y-series, with a textured plastic back that seems to cover its sides as well. The Honor 6 Play features a MediaTek MT6737T processor, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, and runs Android Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1 on top. Its price tag? A mere CNY¥599 (the equivalent of US$91).